St. Thomas Mount Block is a revenue block in the Kanchipuram District, which is a huge quarry (excavation site) in Chennai. The district has a total of 25 panchayat villages with an approximate population of 2,30,000. Due to limited skills and exposure, the youth population of the area amounting to 40,000 is also involved in similar daily wages and unorganized labor sector. These youth are usually made to drop out of school and engage in such petty jobs to support their family in their financial crisis.
This project works with the youth from 75,386 Dalit and migrant families living in 22 settlement pockets in and around the stone quarries and crushing units in St. Thomas Mount Block of Kanchipuram District. Under this project, the youth in this relocation settlement are provided training and skill that would help them get the employment opportunities available in local and regional markets of Chennai.
An important part of this training programme is computer education that makes a strong base for any white-collar job. Besides this, the beneficiaries are provided training in English fluency that will further help them in placement and personality development. Life skills like decision making, leadership, interpersonal relations & so on are also inculcated in students to make them proficient in different jobs.
Smile Foundation has partnered with Mass Empowerment For Growth Alternatives Trust (MAEGA TRUST) to implement the STeP project.